December 20, 2017

The Arizona Republic’s publisher is moving on to a J-school professorship


Mi-Ai Parrish. Via Twitter.

While good old boys are dethroned from their empires and media properties every day, perhaps we should say goodbye to all that and turn our focus on the media women making forward-looking career moves. Especially when a woman has spent her career on a collision course with said good-olds.

Last month we wrote about Mi-Ai Parrish, the publisher of the Arizona Republic. She was the paper’s first minority publisher, a job she snagged after working as the first woman publisher of the Kansas City Star. As we reported, and as is probably obvious now to all but the most willfully blind among us, being an Asian-American woman in the newspaper game was never an easy climb for Parrish — from her days as a junior reporter to her heights as a ceiling-breaking publisher.

Now, as Mike Sunnucks reports for the Phoenix Business Journal, Parrish has resigned her position at the Republic and has set her sights on the future of journalism: both its practitioners and her methods. She will do so as a professor of media innovation and leadership at Arizona State University’s excellent Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Sunnucks writes:

At Cronkite, Parrish will focus on leadership and the future of the news industry through her teaching, writing, speaking and collaborations, Callahan said in the email to Cronkite endowment board members.Parrish, 47, also is starting her own media and business consulting firm called MAP Strategies Group. It will be based in Phoenix. [ . . . ] Parrish is the latest an a string of journalists who have left the media industry for jobs at the ASU journalism school, start their own consulting firms or get into public relations and advertising.

This is an optimistic thought on which to end our year: while seismic changes take place at the media landscape’s highest peaks, we may also be seeing a shift in how and what people are taught on the fertile planes of journalism school.



Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.